17 January 2018

October is Cheese Month in Aotearoa New Zealand. It’s a GOUDA time to try some of the GRATE options made here in Aotearoa New Zealand. Don’t know where to start? No need to be BLUE! We GRILLED our resident cheese connoisseur Teva Stewart for his top tips on creating cheeseboard perfection. 


Teva for web

       Teva: Camembert Connoisseur & Stilton Savant. 



Teva’s Cheese Credentials

If you know our Merchandise Manager Teva, you’ll know he’s an enthusiastic foodie with a passion for ethical products. Cheese is one of his big loves. In fact, in 2006, Teva’s deli was awarded Cheese Retailer of the Year in the UK.

Teva says, “For a lot of people in New Zealand, cheese is pale yellow and comes in a rectangular block. It’s used to add creaminess to things. But there’s SO MUCH MORE to it. There’s hard, soft, blue, mild, strong, imported, local cow’s and goat’s cheese." Take a look at our online store to see some of range we offer at Commonsense. 

According to Teva, there are three steps to creating the perfect cheeseboard:

Step #1: Choose a cheese that suits your taste  

“It’s important to go with whatever suits your taste,” Teva says. “It’s fine to only have one type of cheese on a cheeseboard as long as you do it well.”

  • Like a milder cheese but looking to expand your horizons? Hohepa Cumin Gouda is a delicious hard cheese with a distinct yet subtle flavour.
  • Want a creamier cheese? The Cheese Barn Camembert is creamy but not too strong.
  • Seeking a creamy cheese with a bit more strength? Over The Moon’s Goat’s Camembert has a creamy texture with a little bit more earthiness.
  • Looking for something to knock your socks off? Kallarney Blue from the Cheese Barn is just amazing.


Step #2: Choose contrasting flavours & textures to accompany your cheese

“You’re looking for a variety of different flavours and textures that will tantalise your senses!” Teva says “Sweet chutneys and jams often go well, and nuts can offer good contrast.”  

When choosing crackers, Teva recommends choosing a variety that will complement the cheese rather than overpower it.  “Raw crackers can taste really strong,” Teva says, “so I wouldn’t go with them. But a lightly salted Ceres rice cracker or an oatcake can be just the thing.”

A good alternative to crackers can be thin slices of apple or pear. They provide contrasting flavours and textures and can be a great option for paleo or gluten-free cheese-enthusiasts.

  • Match Hohepa Cumin Gouda with thinly sliced pear and oatcakes.
  • Pair the Cheese Barn or Over the Moon camembert with Olive and Fig Tapenade from Te Horo Harvest and Ceres rice crackers.
  • Kallarney Blue from The Cheese Barn would be perfect with a little honey and freshly cracked walnuts.



Cheese platter 2017

Cheese Barn's Kallarney Blue accompanied by Breadman Pumpkin crackers, Mountain Valley honey & walnuts.


Step #3 Serve your cheese correctly

“This is the most important part of creating a cheese board,” Teva says, “You really need to take any cheese out of the fridge at least 1.5- 2 hours before you eat it.”

“This allows the texture to adjust and the flavours to develop. You really want to get the most out of your cheese.”


Thanks to Teva for sharing these unBRIElievable tips during New Zealand Cheese Month. We're sure they'll make our life FETA. Looking for your perfect cheese match? Ask our friendly staff in store. They're sure to find one you're FONDUE of.